Ronald Frederick Atkinson known as Big Ron, is an English former football player and manager. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he was one of Britain's best-known football pundits, he spent his playing career at Oxford United. As a manager, he won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983 and 1985 and the Football League Cup with Sheffield Wednesday in 1991 and Aston Villa in 1994. Atkinson, born in Liverpool but moved to Warwickshire shortly after his birth, did not achieve great heights in his playing career. After beginning his career as a ground staff boy at Wolverhampton Wanderers, he was signed by Aston Villa from works team BSA Tools at the age of 17, but never played a first-team match for them, he has referred to Villa coach Jimmy Hogan as his biggest influence. He was transferred to Oxford United in the summer of 1959 on a free transfer. There he played alongside his younger brother Graham Atkinson, he went on to make over 500 appearances in all competitions as a wing-half for the club, earning, in his playing days the nickname: "The Tank", scoring a total of 14 goals.
He was United's captain through their rise from the Southern League to the Second Division, achieved in only six years from 1962 to 1968, an impressive achievement. He was the first footballer to captain a club from the Southern League through three divisions of the Football League. After retiring from playing, Atkinson became manager player of non-league Kettering Town in 1971, aged only 32, his success there led to a move to the league with Cambridge United, going on to win the Fourth Division in 1977 and leaving them when they were on the verge of promotion to the Second Division. At the start of 1978, Atkinson moved to manage First Division West Bromwich Albion, he soon signed black player Brendon Batson from his former club, to play alongside the black pair of Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis. Never before had a team in the top division of English football fielded three black players on a regular basis. Atkinson led West Bromwich Albion to third place in the league in the season 1978–79 and to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
On 30 December 1978 they achieved a famous 5–3 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. The club were second in the table at the time, only beaten off top spot from Liverpool by goal difference, they finished fourth in 1981, shortly after this Atkinson became manager of Manchester United on the dismissal of Dave Sexton. Atkinson was seen as the man who could bring the spark to Manchester United, so sorely lacking under his predecessor. Dave Sexton had taken them to second place in the league in 1980 but did not win a major trophy in his four years at the club. United had finished eighth in the season before Atkinson's appointment, Atkinson had missed out of the chance of overseeing a UEFA Cup campaign by departing from Albion and taking over at United. In the 1981–82 season, United finished third in the First Division, to qualify for the UEFA Cup, though for much of the season they were one of several teams who topped the table before a late surge from Liverpool saw Bob Paisley's team seal the title.
Early in the season he had paid a national record £1.5 million for Bryan Robson from his old club West Bromwich Albion, shortly afterwards added midfielder Remi Moses and Arsenal striker Frank Stapleton to his ranks. He gave a debut to promising young forward Norman Whiteside in April 1982, just before the player's 17th birthday. In the 1982–83 season, two appearances at Wembley, one of, an FA Cup victory against Brighton & Hove Albion, coupled with another third-place finish in the league, fuelled speculation that United were back in a big way. During the first half of the season, they had topped the league more than once but a storming run of form by Liverpool beginning before Christmas meant that the title headed for Anfield for the second year running. 1982–83 saw the breakthrough of young Norman Whiteside as one of the best performing players in the First Division. Whiteside was on the scoresheet for the FA Cup final replay as United beat Brighton 4–0 after drawing the first game 2–2. In the 1983–84 season, Atkinson's side reached the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup although their defence of the FA Cup ended at the first hurdle with a shock 2–0 defeat at Third Division Bournemouth.
They finished fourth in the league, having topped the table at several stages once again, before injuries to key players counted against them and they dropped points. The end of the season saw the sale of key midfielder Ray Wilkins to A. C. Milan of Italy for £1.5 million, while the duration of the season had seen the breakthrough of young striker Mark Hughes. Rather than plunge into the transfer market for a big name, Atkinson shifted Norman Whiteside into midfield to fill the gap left by Wilkins and allowed Hughes to form a partnership with the experienced Frank Stapleton. In the 1984–85 season, United again won the FA Cup; however and his team were denied the chance of another European Cup Winners Cup campaign as the Heysel disaster at the European Cup final that year resulted in an indefinite ban on all English clubs in European competitions. In the 1985–86 season, they won their first 10 games of the league season and were unbeaten after their first 15 games to build a comfortable lead at the top of the table that lasted into the new year.
However, their form tailed off badly and they again finished fourth, with Liverpool finishing the season as league champions. With the ban on English clubs in European competitions continuing, there was not the consolation of a UEFA Cup place. United's ti
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
West Bromwich Albion Football Club is a football club in West Bromwich, West Midlands, England. The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion play in the Championship, the second tier of English football, having been relegated from the Premier League in 2017–18. Albion were one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888, have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football, they have been champions of England once, in 1919–20, have been runners-up twice. They have had more success in the FA Cup, winning it five times; the first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, the most recent in 1968, their last major trophy. They won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966; the club's longest continuous period in the top division spanned 24 years between 1949 and 1973, from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest spell out of the top division. The team has played in white stripes for most of the club's history.
Albion have a number of long-standing rivalries with other West Midlands clubs. Albion contest the Black Country Derby with the latter; the club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salter's Spring Works in West Bromwich, in Staffordshire. They were renamed West Bromwich Albion in 1880; the club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals. In 1883, Albion won the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the same year. In 1885 the club turned professional, in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time, losing 2–0 to Blackburn Rovers in a replay, they lost 2 -- 0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, beating strong favourites Preston North End 2–1 in the final; as FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat.
In March 1888, William McGregor wrote to what he considered to be the top five English teams, including Albion, informing them of his intention to form an association of clubs that would play each other home and away each season. Thus when the Football League started that year, Albion became one of the twelve founder members. Albion's second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0, they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in their first season at The Hawthorns, they were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, the following season reached another FA Cup Final, where they were defeated by Second Division Barnsley in a replay, they played Renton F. C. losing 4-1 in Glasgow in 1888 World Championship. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the only time in their history following the end of World War I, their totals of 104 goals and 60 points both breaking the previous league records.
The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, but were relegated in 1926–27. In 1930 -- 31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup; the "Double" of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved since. Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later, they gained promotion in 1948–49, there followed the club's longest unbroken spell in the top flight of English football, a total of 24 years. In 1953–54, Albion came close to being the first team in the 20th century to win the League and Cup double, they succeeded in winning the FA Cup, beating Preston North End 3–2, but injuries and a loss of form towards the end of the season meant that they finished as runners-up to fierce rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in the league. Nonetheless, Albion became known for their brand of fluent, attacking football, with the 1953–54 side being hailed as the "Team of the Century". One national newspaper went so far as to suggest that the team be chosen en masse to represent England at the 1954 FIFA World Cup finals.
They remained one of the top English sides for the remainder of the decade, reaching the semi-final of the 1957 FA Cup and achieving three consecutive top five finishes in Division One between 1957–58 and 1959–60. Although their league form was less impressive during the 1960s, the second half of the decade saw West Brom establish a reputation as a successful cup side. Albion entered the Football League Cup for the first time in 1965–66 and, under manager Jimmy Hagan, won the final by defeating West Ham United 5–3 on aggregate; that was the last two-legged final and, the following year, Albion reached the final again, the first played at Wembley. They lost 3–2 to Third Division Queens Park Rangers after being 2–0 up at half-time. Albion's cup form continued under Hagan's successor Alan Ashman, he guided the club to their last major trophy to date, the 1968 FA Cup, when they beat Everton in extra time thanks to a single goal from Jeff Astle. Albion reached the FA Cup semi-final and European Cup Winners Cup quarter-final in 1969, were defeated 2–1 by Manchester City in the 1970 League Cup Final.
Jakob "Jaap" Stam is a Dutch football manager and former player and current PEC Zwolle manager. Stam played for several European clubs including PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Lazio and Ajax before retiring in October 2007; as well as club trophies, he won several personal awards, including being voted the best defender in the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League. An imposing centre back, he was known for possessing "a rare combination of speed and ball-playing ability", as well as an excellent positional sense. Due to his wide range of skills, in his prime he was capable of playing as a full back on the right flank. Stam played 67 international matches for the scoring three goals, he was in their squads for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. After retiring as a player, Stam worked as a coach at PEC Zwolle and Ajax before making his managerial debut with Reading in 2016. Born in Kampen, Stam started his career with local amateur football club DOS Kampen. On 15 August 1992, Stam made his professional debut for FC Zwolle in a 1–1 draw against SC Heracles in the Eerste Divisie.
He became a first team regular right away and moved to Eredivisie side Cambuur Leeuwarden for the following season, but relegated in his first season which brought him back into the Eerste Divisie. Two seasons at Cambuur earned him a transfer to Eredivisie side Willem II. At Willem II, he impressed at the Eredivisie level, which meant his final breakthrough. A shock 1–0 home victory over Ajax led to Stam's transfer to PSV Eindhoven in the same season in which they won the KNVB Cup, his first professional trophy. Stam was a key player for PSV in the 1996–97 season, as the team won the Eredivisie Championship and the Johan Cruyff Shield. Individually, Stam won the VVCS Footballer of the Year award. In 1998, Stam became the most expensive Dutch football player in history and the most expensive defender in history when Manchester United bought him for £10.6 million. Stam spent three seasons at Manchester United, during which time United won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, the Intercontinental Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
He scored his only goal for the club in a 6–2 away victory against Leicester City. Early in the 2001–02 season, Stam was controversially sold to Lazio in Italy after Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was furious with allegations Stam had made in his autobiography Head to Head about himself and the club. Stam made numerous statements in the book about his views on opposing players, notoriously alleged that Ferguson's approach to buy him was done without the permission of PSV. Laurent Blanc was signed as his replacement. In 2007, Ferguson described the decision to sell Stam as an error: "At the time he had just come back from an achilles injury and we thought he had just lost a little bit. We got the offer from Lazio, £16.5m for a centre back, 29. It was an offer, but in playing terms it was a mistake. He is still playing for Ajax at a good level." On the financial report, Manchester United announced. During his time with Lazio, Stam was found guilty of having the banned steroid nandrolone in his system following a Serie A game, received a five-month ban, reduced by a month after appeals.
He was the second Lazio player suspended after Fernando Couto. In his last season at the club, he won the Coppa Italia. Stam joined Milan after UEFA Euro 2004, he reached his second Champions League final with the Rossoneri in 2005, but was a runner-up after his team was defeated by Liverpool in a penalty shootout. On 30 January 2006, it was announced that he would return to the Eredivisie and play for Ajax, where he signed a two-year contract for a €2.5 million transfer fee. Stam was named team captain upon his arrival at the club. In his first season, he won both the KNVB Cup. On 29 October 2007, Stam announced his retirement from professional football with immediate effect after playing six league games for Ajax in 2007–08, his last game was in a 0–0 draw against NEC on 20 October 2007. Stam made his debut for the Netherlands on 24 April 1996 in a 1–0 defeat to Germany, he was an important player in the Dutch team that finished fourth in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. During UEFA Euro 2000, he once again reached the semi-finals with the Dutch team, hosted in his home country and Belgium.
Stam missed an important penalty kick in the penalty shootout in the semi-finals, which led to defeat against Italy. Stam reached his third semi-finals in an international competition with his nation at Euro 2004 in Portugal and retired from international football after the tournament; the reason cited for his international retirement was that he wanted to focus on his new team, Milan, as well as his family. In total, he played 67 matches for the scoring three goals. In October 2008, Stam returned to Manchester United as a scout for the club, responsible for most of South America. Stam has been involved with Soccer Aid, which puts celebrities and football legends together in two teams for a charity game in aid of Unicef. Stam has appeared in five Soccer Aid matches 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. In 2011, Stam became an assistant coach for PEC Zwolle, a position he held for two seasons after Kieron Hogendoorn vacated the role. Following his stint with Zwolle, Stam took a three-year contract with Ajax as an assistant coach, as defensive trainer starting in the 2013–14 Eredivisie season.
Stam moved to Jong Ajax, the reserve
Adlington is a village and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It is known as Eduluintune in the Domesday Book. According to the 2001 census the civil parish had a population of 1,081 people across 401 households. There is a non-denominational primary school in the village. A railway station, located on the Manchester–Macclesfield line, is used by commuters to Manchester and Stockport. Adlington was a township in Prestbury ancient parish, it became a separate civil parish in 1866, had slight changes to its civil parish boundaries in 1936. It was in Hamestan hundred, which became Macclesfield Hundred and still, was assigned to be part of Macclesfield Poor Law Union and Rural Sanitary District; when Macclesfield Rural District council was established in 1894, Adlington became a civil parish within it. In 1974, local government re-organisation led to it becoming part of the Borough of Macclesfield, which in turn was succeeded by Cheshire East Council in 2009.
Adlington Hall, dating from at least the end of the 13th century, is located at the western end of the village. Adlington made the news in January 2008, when a delivery vehicle shed 18 tonnes of mango chutney onto the road through the village. A spokesman for F Swain and Sons, the company which owns the lorry, said: "It was just one of those things." Adlington Parish Council, which administers the civil parish, is made up of ten parish councillors and one parish clerk. The parish council sits each month, at these meetings, the two borough and single county councillor will often attend. Listed buildings in Adlington, Cheshire Map of Adlington Adlington in the Domesday Book
Sir Robert Charlton is an English former footballer who played as a midfielder. He is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, an essential member of the England team who won the World Cup in 1966, the year he won the Ballon d'Or, he played all of his club football at Manchester United, where he became renowned for his attacking instincts and passing abilities from midfield and his ferocious long-range shot. He was well known for his fitness and stamina, he was cautioned only twice in his career. His elder brother Jack, in the World Cup-winning team, is a former defender for Leeds United and international manager. Born in Ashington, Charlton made his debut for the Manchester United first-team in 1956, over the next two seasons gained a regular place in the team, during which time he survived the Munich air disaster of 1958 after being rescued by Harry Gregg. After helping United to win the Football League in 1965, he won a World Cup medal with England in 1966 and another Football League title with United the following year.
In 1968, he captained the Manchester United team that won the European Cup, scoring two goals in the final to help his team be the first English side to win the competition. He is United's second all-time leading goal scorer, being surpassed by Wayne Rooney, held the distinction of being England's all-time top goal scorer from May 1968 to September 2015, when again Rooney surpassed his record. Charlton held the record for most appearances for Manchester United, before being surpassed by Ryan Giggs in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final, he was selected for four World Cups, helped England to win the competition in 1966. At the time of his retirement from the England team in 1970, he was the nation's most capped player, having turned out 106 times at the highest level; this record has since been held by Peter Shilton. He left Manchester United to become manager of Preston North End for the 1973–74 season, he changed to player-manager the following season. He next accepted a post as a director with Wigan Athletic became a member of Manchester United's board of directors in 1984 and remains one as of the 2018–19 season.
Charlton is related to several professional footballers on his mother's side of the family: his uncles were Jack Milburn, George Milburn, Jim Milburn and Stan Milburn, legendary Newcastle United and England footballer Jackie Milburn, was his mother's cousin. However, Charlton credits much of the early development of his career to his grandfather Tanner and his mother Cissie, his elder brother, Jack worked as a miner before applying to the police, only to become a professional footballer with Leeds United. On 9 February 1953 a Bedlington Grammar School pupil, Charlton was spotted playing for East Northumberland schools by Manchester United chief scout Joe Armstrong. Charlton went on to play for England Schoolboys and the 15-year-old signed with United on 1 January 1953, along with Wilf McGuinness aged 15, his mother was reluctant to let him commit to an insecure football career, so he began an apprenticeship as an electrical engineer. Charlton became one of the famed Busby Babes, the collection of talented footballers who emerged through the system at Old Trafford in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s as Matt Busby set about a long-term plan of rebuilding the club after the Second World War.
He worked his way through the pecking order of teams, scoring for the youth and reserve sides before he was handed his first team debut against Charlton Athletic in October 1956. At the same time, he was doing his National service with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in Shrewsbury, where Busby had advised him to apply as it meant he could still play for Manchester United at the weekend. Doing his army service in Shrewsbury at the same time was his United teammate Duncan Edwards. Charlton played 14 times for United in that first season, scoring twice on his debut and managing a total of 12 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick in a 5–1 away win over Charlton Athletic in the February. United won the league championship but were denied the 20th century's first "double" when they controversially lost the 1957 FA Cup Final to Aston Villa. Charlton, still only 19, was selected for the game, which saw United goalkeeper Ray Wood carried off with a broken cheekbone after a clash with Villa centre forward Peter McParland.
Though Charlton was a candidate to go in goal to replace Wood, it was teammate Jackie Blanchflower who ended up between the posts. Charlton was an established player by the time the next season was underway, which saw United, as current League champions, become the first English team to compete in the European Cup; the Football Association had scorned the competition, but United made progress, reaching the semi-finals where they lost to holders Real Madrid. Their reputation was further enhanced the next season as they reached the quarter finals to play Red Star Belgrade. In the first leg at home, United won 2–1; the return in Yugoslavia saw Charlton score twice as United stormed 3–0 ahead, although the hosts came back to earn a 3–3 draw. However, United maintained their aggregate lead to reach the last four and were in jubilant mood as they left to catch their flight home, thinking of an important League game against Wolves at the weekend; the aeroplane which to
Leslie Mark Hughes, OBE is a Welsh football manager and former player, most manager of Premier League club Southampton. During his playing career he was most noted for two spells at Manchester United, but he played for Barcelona and Bayern Munich, as well as the English clubs Chelsea, Southampton and Blackburn Rovers, he made 72 appearances for Wales scoring 16 goals. He retired from playing in 2002, he won a host of winners' medals during his playing career, including two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and two European Cup Winners' Cups. He collected an FA Cup runners-up medal and a League Cup runners-up medal. Hughes was the first player to win the PFA Players' Player of the Year award twice, in 1989 and 1991, his reign as Wales manager was his first managerial post. He failed to qualify for a World Cup or European Championship during his five years in charge, although his reign coincided with a marked improvement in results. Hughes spent four years in charge of Blackburn, guiding them to sixth place in 2005–06.
He took charge of Manchester City in June 2008 for a year and a half before spending the 2010–11 season at Fulham. He joined Queens Park Rangers in January 2012, helping them retain their Premier League status in 2011–12. Despite some high-profile signings in the summer of 2012, QPR began the 2012–13 season in poor form, Hughes was sacked on 23 November 2012. Hughes was appointed manager of Stoke City on 30 May 2013, he guided the club to three consecutive ninth-place Premier League finishes in 2013–14, 2014–15 and 2015–16. Following a poor start to the 2017–18 season, with the club in the relegation zone heading into the new year, he was dismissed by Stoke on 6 January 2018, hours after an FA Cup third round exit to League Two side Coventry City, he was appointed manager of fellow struggling side Southampton on 14 March 2018, signing a contract until the end of the season, with the Saints sat one point above his former club Stoke in 17th place at the time of his appointment. He guided the club to safety at the end of the 2017–18 season, left the club in December 2018.
Born in Ruabon, Hughes joined Manchester United after leaving school in the summer of 1980, having been spotted by the team's North Wales talent scout Hugh Roberts. However, he did not make his first team debut for three years – scoring in a 1–1 draw away to Oxford United in the League Cup, in the 1983–84 season; when Hughes made his United debut, the club's forward partnership consisted of 27-year-old Irishman Frank Stapleton and 18-year-old Norman Whiteside from Northern Ireland, breaking up that partnership would not be an easy challenge for Hughes. But Hughes broke into the first team, partnering Frank Stapleton in attack while Norman Whiteside was switched to midfield to partner Ray Wilkins and stand in for the injury prone Remi Moses; the departure of Wilkins to Milan at the end of the season saw manager Ron Atkinson decide to stick to using Whiteside in the centre of midfield, enabling Hughes to keep his place in the first team ahead of new signing Alan Brazil, he was rewarded handsomely as he scored 25 goals in 55 matches across all competitions as United achieved an FA Cup final victory over Everton.
They finished fourth in the league. Hughes managed a further 18 goals in the 1985–86 season, where they led until February having won their first ten league matches of the season, before a dismal second half of the season saw them slip into fourth place in the final table; that season saw him score 17 goals in the Football League First Division – it would remain the highest goals tally in a league season throughout his career. In the summer of 1986, Hughes was sold to Barcelona for £2 million. United announced on 21 March 1986 that Hughes would be heading for Spain at the end of the season, but the transfer had been agreed many weeks earlier. Manager Terry Venables signed Hughes at the same time that he signed Gary Lineker from Everton to form a new strike partnership at the Nou Camp, but Hughes was a disappointment in his only season at Barcelona, whereas Lineker did well in three seasons there, he was subsequently loaned out to German club Bayern Munich for the 1987–88 season, where he regained his form.
On 11 November 1987, he played two competitive matches in one day, first for Wales against Czechoslovakia in Prague in a Euro 1988 qualifier, second, after being flown across the border into Germany, appearing as a substitute for Bayern in their second round cup replay over Borussia Mönchengladbach. In May 1988, Hughes returned to Manchester United, managed by Sir Alex Ferguson, for a club record fee of £1.8 million. As he had done in his first spell at Old Trafford, Hughes proved to be a dynamic goalscorer and was a key player for the club over the next seven years. Alex Ferguson had been keen on re-signing Hughes for United soon after becoming manager in November 1986, but Hughes would have had been liable for taxation on money earned playing overseas if he had returned to England before April 1988. In 1988–89, his first season back in England, United disappointed in the league and finished 11th after an erratic season, they had gone ten league matches without a win in the autumn but went on a strong run after the turn of the new year to lift them to third place, only for a late season collapse to drag them down to mid-table.
Hughes was voted PFA Player of the Year, the first Manchester United player to be credited with that award, in its 16th season. He was United's joint top scorer that season, along with B
The EFL Cup known as the Carabao Cup for sponsorship reasons, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. Organised by the English Football League, it is open to any club within the top four levels of the English football league system – 92 clubs in total – comprising the top level Premier League, the three divisions of the English Football League's own league competition. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top-tier domestic football competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup, it concludes in February, long before the other two. It was introduced by the league as a response to the increasing popularity of European football, to exert power over the FA, it took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games. With the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup for the 2016–17 season.
The tournament is played with single leg ties throughout, except the semi-finals. The final is held at Wembley Stadium. Entrants are seeded in the early rounds, a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in rounds, to defer the entry of teams still involved in Europe. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one being the original. Winners qualify for European football, receiving a place in the UEFA Europa League; the current holders are Manchester City, who beat Chelsea 4–3 on penalties in the 2019 final to win their sixth League Cup. Although the League Cup is one of the four domestic trophies attainable by English league teams, it is perceived as being of lower prestige than the league championship or the FA Cup. League Cup winners receive £100,000 prize money with the runners-up receiving £50,000, considered insignificant to top-flight teams, compared to the £2 million prize money of the FA Cup, in turn eclipsed by the Premier League's television money and consequent participation in the Champions League.
Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition, making the opportunity for giant-killing of the larger clubs more likely. Many teams in the Premier League and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wenger's claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as "a pot worth winning"; the original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs, knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous. Hardaker proposed the competition as a way for the clubs to make up on lost revenue, due to a reduction in matches played, for when the league was to be re-organised; the re-organisation of the league was not forthcoming. The trophy was paid for by Football League President Joe Richards, proud of the competition and he had his own name engraved on it. Richards described the competition's formation as an'interim step' on the way to the league's re-organisation.
Richards' priority was the re-organisation of the leagues. Hardaker felt that the Football League needed to adapt to the times, as the English game was losing prestige, he felt that the Football League should take the lead in revitalising football in the nation: "It must be obvious to all of you that the time has come to do something, it is up to the Football League to give the lead. I hope the Press will not assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else... the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game."The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling. The league had lost one million spectators compared to the previous season, it was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high. The biggest disagreement was about. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights.
This opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter. The League Cup was introduced in the 1960–61 season as a mid-week floodlit tournament, to replace the Southern Professional Floodlit Cup; the League Cup was criticised by the better-endowed clubs. The Times' correspondent at the time felt; the Times published on 30 May 1960: "Where a drastic reduction is required in an attempt to raise quality, no doubt quantity and a further spread of mediocrity